Dear Hope Nation,
Land, Ho! is an expression used by sailors once they’ve spotted land. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to land or even intend to, but it alerts all on the ship that land has been seen.
“Land Ho!” is also a great album by the Forest Rangers, the house band for the show, “Sons of Anarchy.” Sung by Ravi Coltrane and co-written by my pal Tonio K, the title song is one of my 15 favorite songs of the last decade. For what it’s worth.
Land Ho! Land Ho! Land Ho! is the cry I’m sending to the universe during the 10th week of our journey across the Sea of During. Two separate sightings of the Land of After have been made, and each asks for action on all of our parts.
I’ve talked about the technology Hope has purchased to help create a hybrid form of recovery meetings, with 7 to 10 people in a room and 1 to 100 folks outside but linked in through large monitors. This all hinges on a remarkable gadget called an Owl Pro, a 360-degree camera and audio setup that sits in the middle of the room and televises whoever in the room is speaking. With Zoom and large-screen TVs, Hope is hoping to create a recovery experience that works “well enough” for everyone. That last phrase is in quotes, because, eventually perhaps, we’ll discover near-perfection. For now, we just need it to help each of us get through the day without drinking or drugging.
I mentioned ACTION from all of us. Here’s the first:
All technology needs dry runs, adjustments and troubleshooting. The Hope staff has been using the Owl Pro for staff meetings, etc., but the next step is using it for recovery meetings. We need five to 10 people to come to Hope for about two hours NEXT WEDNESDAY, May 27, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. or so. Here we’ll try out the Owl and the TV’s and you’ll help us figure out what works well, what needs tinkering and what is just plain damn useless. We’ll buy pizza if you’ll come.
This will all be done using PPE provided by Hope — masks, primarily — and practicing social distancing.
If you’re interested and available, please let me know by text or email:
A few days ago, Hope had its first Pop-Up All-Recovery Meeting. Now, like toadstools on an August morning, we’ve got them shooting up all over. Here’s the list for the next week:
These are all-recovery meetings. Please feel free to bring a breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you’d like. Because of the state regulations in place, we need to keep groups to 10 or fewer, which should be easy enough. We’ll simply break off and form a new group once we get to eight or nine folks. Although Hope can’t enforce regulations, I am asking that folks practice social distancing while we’re gathered together. It really will be fun.
We’ll have topics to discuss, but I suspect each of you has enough pent-up demand to talk to real people about recovery, about Covid-19, and about the future. Bring your thoughts, a folding chair or blanket and a positive attitude.
Oh, yes, one more thing. I know a number of folks may have had reoccurrences (relapses) during this time. Please, please, please don’t let this keep you from coming. You’re in recovery when you say you are, and letting shame or remorse keep you from doing something healthy is doubly, triply, quadruply self-defeating.
Important: If you’re involved with any recovery organization, group or fellowship and would like to hold pop-up meetings of your own, please let us know. We’ll be happy to spread the word through Facebook, our website and word of mouth. This really is a great way to spread the power of recovery.
You matter. I matter. We matter.
Directions for Meetings at Derryfield: we’ll meet by the gazebo at Derryfield Park, which is at 492 Bridge Street, a little more than a mile from Elm Street and a little less than a mile-and-a-half from Hope. If you get lost, or need more directions, call me (603-361-6266) and I’ll guide you.
Keith Howard is Executive Director of Hope for NH Recovery. Read more at tinywhitebox.com